By Shyaka Kanuma
Very many citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo long ago decided that every problem that befalls their country is the fault of Rwanda.
They will disregard the role of their grossly incompetent governments in fomenting the country’s many ills. They will not question to what extent lack of good governance, or public accountability, or openness in the use of public funds, et cetera, et cetera are responsible for the rampant poverty, diseases, numerous predatory rebel groups and other woes of the DR Congo. No. The problem always is Rwanda!
Talking of rebels, why is it that very many of the good citizens of the DRC will single out only one group, the M23? The answer is obvious: it is because M23 is Ba Rwandais! Mark you without providing a shred of evidence how they arrive at that conclusion.
Therefore if, say, Mai Mai rebels are going to massacre whole villages and rape and plunder with abandon, that can be disregarded by those safely thousands of kilometers away in Kinshasa. The Mai Mai after all are “Congolese”, not Ba Rwandais. Not Banyarwanda.
Raia Mutomboki? These too may go berserk and no Congolese in towns or villages safely out of their path will give a rat’s ass. So what if thousands of long-suffering peasants lose everything and become internally displaced for the umpteenth time? To whatever Congolese ethnic group not directly affected by the marauding Mutomboki or Mai Mai or whichever of the other tens of rebel groups, there is nothing to be overly concerned about. Mai Mai or Mutomboki are not Banyarwanda after all.
Joseph Kony? Disregard him. The fellow has never been found guilty of being a Rwandan. He is Ugandan. Ergo he is free to run amok over vast territories of the DRC emptying villagers’ granaries, driving off whatever pitiful livestock can be found, or kidnapping numerous individuals, among them many small girls to turn into child brides. The tribes that aren’t in his way (and of course not mentioning the government of Joseph Kabila) don’t give a hoot. To repeat, Kony has never been guilty of being Rwandais.
But mention the M23 and just so many Congolese citizens go into a frenzy, in urban mobs, in their media, in Facebook posts, on Twitter, name it. Wait a minute though, any individual just arrived from Mars will ask, aren’t the FDLR the only Rwandans in all the DRC’s bloody civil wars? And how come they are met with next to no condemnation for the numerous, even well documented, atrocities they perpetrate in the Congo? Excellent question. But in place of an answer our innocent Martian will be met with a stony silence.
Or he will be force fed an avalanche of lies from the appallingly undignified Lambert Mende, so-called DRC information minister whose mantra unfailingly is: it is Rwanda’s fault! The Martian will be met with more mendacity, to buttress Mende’s, from Monusco, the UN “peace-keeping mission” in the DRC; he will be met with a torrent of falsehoods from a group called the GoE; and he will be met with more Pinocchio grade whoppers from Human Rights Watch and the likes.
Our Martian will get no answers on who the real Rwandans in the Congo’s savage wars are because the true answer, it is the FDLR, immediately expose Kabila’s endless alarmism about how his country is “being aggressed by Rwanda” for the cynical lie it is.
All the false information by the various actors in the DRC- from the UN, to international rights pressure groups to numerous elements in the international media for whom “M23-is-a-Rwanda-backed-group” is too sexy a narrative to let go, facts be damned – is because the truth, that the FDLR is the only truly Rwandan rebel group in the Congo, throws a spanner in their works.
The upshot is, if Kabila and all his international pals were to loudly acknowledged who the FDLR really is, the next step would be to state the obvious: that the M23 may be of Tutsi ethnicity, but it is a very Congolese outfit that exists in reaction to a specifically Congolese reality, a very weak government that won’t protect the safety of its people and the sovereignty of its borders.
If that truth were widely acknowledged it would raise several highly embarrassing questions not only for Kabila but for the International Community.
Why is the Congolese government not disarming these FDLR Rwandans, as any responsible government would any groups of foreign armed groups, especially genocidal groups, on its soil? Forget ever getting an answer and prepare yourself for a perpetual cacophony of anti-Rwanda accusations. For the obvious answer is – to paraphrase a line from the movie A Few Good Men – a truth Kinshasa and its water carriers HRW, GoE, Monusco etc etc, cannot handle.
They cannot handle the truth because it would burn them. This is the public knowledge that the FARDC (meaning the Congolese government) and the FDLR long ago became one and the same thing. And since Joseph Kabila has proven himself more than willing basically to lease vast tracts of his country out to anyone who will align with him in his endless demonizing of Rwanda, all these groups including others largely out of public light (shadowy Western mining business groups mostly) will take what they can from him (Kabila) and align with him.
If the M23 is a Congolese group fighting an existential threat from the FDLR – which made it a goal to annihilate every Tutsi in their path right from the days many in their ranks were in the rump group that carried out the Genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda -the likes of Monusco, or HRW, or Jakaya Kikwete for that matter will only cheer the FARDC and FDLR in their pursuits and not only cheer them but buttress them. Need I draw you a picture? They know what they are getting from Kabila.
Source: Rwanda Focus